Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

Surrey Pretrial Services Centre is the subject of yet another human rights complaint lodged by an inmate.

The pretrial centre has been the target of several largely unsuccessful human rights complaints over the past couple of years. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed part of this latest case but another aspect of it will proceed to a hearing.

Surrey Pretrial is a remand centre for inmates awaiting trial or sentencing related to criminal charges and anywhere from 400 to 500 people are incarcerated there at any given time.

Kevin Miller lodged a complaint against Surrey Pretrial for refusing to provide him with a second mattress to assist him in managing arthritis pain despite his doctor having recommended one.

“Second, he says that the respondents failed to provide him with reasonable access to mental health services,” Tribunal member Emily Ohler noted in her Dec. 2 reasons for decision.

READ ALSO: Surrey Pretrial inmate claims staff left him handcuffed during

epileptic seizure

READ ALSO: Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

READ ALSO: Transgender inmate loses court case against Surrey Pretrial

Miller filed his complaint against the centre, the Provincial Health Services Authority and Chiron Health Services but Ohler dismissed his complaint against the two health agencies. She also dismissed his complaint related to mental disability but decided his physical disability complaint, concerning a period from Sept. 6, 2017 to Dec. 11, 2017 will proceed.

All three respondents denied discriminating. The pretrial told the tribunal that an extra mattress is a security concern inside a prison because it can be used to hide contraband, to clog plumbing or hide what’s going on in an inmate’s cell by propping it against the door.

Ohler also noted the pretrial centre argued an extra mattress might “increase tension between incarcerated people by acting as a status symbol or a resource to trade.”

READ ALSO: Transgender inmate makes human rights complaint against Surrey Pretrial

READ ALSO: Human Rights Tribunal rejects Surrey inmate’s sex discrimination complaint

READ ALSO: A look at Surrey Pretrial’s storied history

The tribunal heard that on Sept. 6, 2017 Miller saw a doctor who recommended a second mattress for him, he didn’t get one, and that he saw a doctor on Dec. 11, 2017 who declined his request for one. Miller managed to somehow sneak a second mattress into his cell but it was confiscated. He was released from custody on Jan. 15, 2018.

In the end, Ohler decided against the pretrial’s application to have Miller’s complaint dismissed.

“I am not persuaded that there is no reasonable prospect that Mr. Miller could succeed in establishing that Corrections’ denial of a second mattress breached the Code,” she said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

CorrectionSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to implement a temporary paid sick-leave program. (Unsplash.com photo by Kelly Sikkema)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for temporary paid sick-leave program

Reccomendations sent to provincial labour minister, news release notes

Low tide offered plenty of space for people to relax on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
City of White Rock asking outside visitors to stay away

South Surrey residents encouraged to visit, while others urged to stick close to home

North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex. (Photo: larkgroup.com)
North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex earns B.C. facility excellence award

Award is among four presented by BC Recreation and Parks Association

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Suspect accused of ‘abhorrent’ assaults at Surrey SkyTrain stations

Transit Police say assaults were on April 9, 14 and 17

Closing down the west-bound lane of Marine Drive to allow increased patio space for restaurants and a larger walkway for pedestrians would be a challenging and costly measure, according to a city staff report. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock City council, BIA to further mull Marine Drive one-way

Businesses contend that challenges of measure can be mitigated

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read